Android co-founder Andy Rubin teases first smartphone from new company

Rubin gives us the first look at his next big project, and it's missing a lot of bezel.

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(Image: Andy Rubin/Twitter)

Android co-founder Andy Rubin teased what could be the first smartphone to launch out of his new hardware startup called Essential.

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Details on Rubin's new smartphone are scant, but the teaser image offered a few hints. Like most smartphones set for 2017, the mystery phone is missing a lot of bezel, in an effort to make the front of the handset all-screen. There's also a hardware button on the side and what looks to be stock Android.

"I'm really excited about how this is shaping up. Eager to get it in more people's hands," Rubin wrote on Twitter with an attached image (via BGR). The ex-Android boss didn't offer any details on when the handset may launch.

Rubin, who left Google in 2014, has kept Essential out of the public's eye -- for now. Not many details are known, but hires like HTC global vice president Jason Mackenzie, as well as Jason Keats, who was once lead product designer on Apple's iPad, could indicate a smartphone company gunning after Samsung and Apple.

Essential is working on consumer hardware products for the mobile and smart home markets, according to an earlier report from Bloomberg.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier SoftBank was considering a $100 million investment into the startup, but SoftBank pulled out of the deal because of the investment fund's already close relationship with Apple.

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